by Alex T. Arnold
A lot of the discussion about homework strategy involves many unnecessary steps. For example, some people work for about ten minutes and then take a break for twenty. Others will work about five minutes outside of class and then cram all of their assignments on the weekend. I’ve known a surprisingly large number of people who will spend more time planning out how to do their homework than actually doing it.
I don’t need to explain why a bad studying strategy will cause harm. Everyone has been in a place where their anxiety increased, grades suffered and extracurriculars were ignored because they didn’t manage their time properly. Some people have heftier courseloads than others, but that isn’t an excuse to not have a good plan; it’s in fact all the more reason why you should make sure you’re accomplishing your class responsibilities in the best way possible.
Spontaneousness here is not acceptable. I think that everyone is actually aware of that but nobody wants to admit it. If you don’t have a set time scheduled beforehand, you’re ultimately going to run out of time in the day to study, no matter how many times you keep telling yourself that you’ll get to it. A homework schedule will also lessen anxiety because you don’t have to be afraid of not having enough time to get it done, and will also make you more reliable in your social life because you have a greater sense of when you’ll be free and can clearly communicate that to people.
I personally like to get all of my assignments done at the beginning of the week, usually from Monday afternoon to Thursday morning. Depending on the week, however, it should only take most people until Wednesday, especially underclassmen. During this time, it’s best not to play around, but to just take a break by getting lunch or going to the gym after class. That way, all of your work is done by hopefully the middle of the week, and you have the rest of the week to do whatever you want, and weekend nights to study for any upcoming tests.
I think that having days set aside for just working and days set aside for just resting are the best strategy, but there are other ways to do it. It’s also worth noting that sometimes a test will be in the middle of the week and it’s better to lay an assignment aside for the weekend so that you can study the day before. This is just meant to be some general advice to serve as a guideline, so long as there is a plan set in place that is actually being acted upon, the specifics don’t matter quite as much.